Roy Corcoran, an unknown to many fans, has brought some stability to the Mariner bullpen since closer J.J. Putz was placed on the 15-day disabled list. In his three ballgames so far this season Corcoran has pitched 4 scoreless innings while surrendering just 1 hit, 1 walk, striking out 4 and allowing no runs. He's been attacking the strikezone and doesn't mess around with the hitters.
But who is Roy Corcoran? Seattle has been very good in recent years at turning unknown pitchers into effective relievers; will Corcoran become their latest success story?
Hardly a prospect, the 28 year old Roy Corcoran is playing in his 7th season as a professional. He was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1980 and played his college ball at LSU before signing as an undrafted free agent with the Montreal Expos in June 2001. He pitched well from the get-go, posting a 1.42 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 19 innings between the GCL Expos (R) and Jupiter Hammerheads (A+) in his first partial season. In 2002 he pitched 80 innings for the Clinton Lumber Kings (A), posting a 4.16 ERA and a fantastic ratio of 11.93 strikeouts per nine innings.
In 2003 Corcoran got his first taste of big league action on July 30th at age 23 after posting a 1.22 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in three stops at Brevard County (A+), Harrisburg (AA) and Edmonton (AAA). He did well in five appearances, but didn't get much of a chance after that with the organization. He continued to dominate in the minors over the next three seasons and made 10 big league appearances with mixed results.
There was no doubt that Corcoran was ready for regular big league duty but there was never much of an opportunity for him. On those Expos/Nationals teams between 2003 and 2006 they had adequate relievers such as Rocky Biddle, Chad Cordero, Luis Ayala, T.J. Tucker, Jon Rauch, Gary Majewski, Joey Eischen and others getting it done.
After being granted his release following the 2006 season he signed a minor league deal with the Florida Marlins, but once again failed to make the big league club. He spent the entire season pitching successfully in AAA Albuquerque as the Marlins already had some very effective arms in their bullpen including Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom, Taylor Tankersley, Lee Gardner, Justin Miller, Renyel Pinto and others.
He came to Seattle before this season on a minor league contract and was a favorite of manager John McLaren during Spring Training despite posting less than stellar numbers. He was one of the final cuts but was the organization's first choice to fill the open bullpen spot left when Putz hit the DL.
Roy Corcoran hasn't spent the majority of his pro career in the minors because he hasn't been ready, he's just been blocked by other very good players. The same thing happened to him this spring and it took an injury to get him to the bigs. Corcoran could prove to be a nice surprise for the Mariners. He's been a closer for the majority of his very successful minor league career logging 78 career saves. The guy is fearless and is going to challenge hitters for quick outs.
I like what I see from Corcoran and I hope he can find a way to stick around Seattle's crowded bullpen.